Travis Pastrana has obliterated his own Mount Washington hillclimb record to win this year’s Climb to the Clouds.
For this year’s attempt, the rallycross-engined rally car of last time was replaced by the 862 bhp VT20G ‘Airslayer STI’ that had been developed specifically to take on the mountain, as well as the most recent Gymkhana video.
Pastrana set a time of 5 minutes 28.670 seconds on his first run to claim overall honors for the competition, as well as locking in a new record on the 7.6-mile, 138-turn course.
His second run of 5m41.714s was the fastest time in the second heat and was faster than his previous record, but it was his earlier time that stole the show. His previous record of 5m 44.72s was set at the 2017 running of the event.
After changeable conditions in practice, Sunday’s showpiece run took place in what Pastrana described as “perfect” conditions.
“Man, what a cool feeling,” he said. “The mountain today gave us the best weather, it was nice and cool for the motor, it was nice and dry and sunny, and no clouds, it was just the perfect day and the Gymkhana machine was awesome.”
Second place overall went to Open Lite runner Cole Powelson in his 2020 Sierra Alpha, 39s adrift of Pastrana, while SpeedCar Xtrem runner Christopher Duplessis rounded out the top three spots.
William Washburn – running in the same unlimited class as Pastrana in his monstrous Nissan 240RS Maxi – was second in that category, although his failure to complete a time in the second heat meant that his first run of 6m 24.715s was only good enough for fifth overall, behind P1 class winner and multiple US rally winner Ramana Lagemann.
Climb to the Clouds is the oldest surviving motorsport competition in the United States, predating the Indianapolis 500 and the Pikes Peak hillclimb, having first run in 1904. It’s been run triennially since the 1990s, but the 2020 running of the event was pushed back to this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.